Principles of practice

Good. Sit and be aware. If one is not aware, one would get lost into the world of fabrication. When the mind gets lost in fabrication, suffering will arise. Try to simply be aware of the body and mind with no stress. If there is stress, then it is not really awareness.

Yesterday I went to a funeral of Pra Ajarn Ah´s relative in Pattaya. People at that temple mentioned that many people died of COVID still, including foreign tourists who came with COVID and passed away during the trip. The bodies became cremated at the temple. There are still people dying of COVID, so we should still be careful. When we are alone, it is alright not to wear masks. But when we are in public places, we should still wear masks. The disease has not vanished. Try to save your own lives.


Spend time in our lives wisely

Life is precious and limited. One can live up to around 100 years old, but mostly 60-70 years old. Some do not even live that long. Life is precious. Average age for this generation is around 75 years old. We spend 25 years sleeping, 50 years studying, working, and enjoying the world. Then time is up.

Therefore, we who are mindful and wise, knowing that life is precious and our time is limited, should spend time in our lives wisely. In my opinion there is nothing more useful than Dhamma. Regarding worldly benefits, before I became a monk, I used to live in the world just like you all, having everything that people wanted, but I felt that they were impermanent. Since I finished all my studies, some of my friends went on to be District Officers. One day they could become Governor, or Director General of the Department of Provincial Administration, or Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior.

Some of them who studied Political Science, Department of International Relations, had become ambassadors. They had goals in their lives. After finishing university, they pursued their careers. Some reached their goals, others did not. In the end they retired, no longer in the revered positions they had obtained. People no longer looked up to them and would eventually forget them. Such as some who had been Governor with people paying respect. After retiring for 10 years, people do not remember them. Who is this old man walking around here?

I have seen these phenomena since I was in school. Thus, my goal in life was not obtaining high positions or great benefits. Everything in life is impermanent. I never struggled to get rich. I earned just enough for a living and planed the future without depending financially on other people. With this plan, I had a lot of free time. If we wanted to be in high positions or become very rich, we would have to struggle a lot.

For example, if one wants to be a Governor, he/ she needs to work hard and get along with all kinds of people. Some of them like policemen (not all) have to comply with influential people, otherwise they cannot be in that area. They must earn money and send to influential people. The system still exists. Politicians acquire power in order to earn money. Some of them invest 1,000 baht per head for 80,000 people in order to get elected as representatives. This is investment. After all the struggles, everything is gone in the end. Some become imprisoned, others become fugitives from justice.

These are worldly possessions. They are not good nor wonderful. We gain them so that one day we lose them. After all the struggles, we get them and lose them. In the end everything will return to zero as before. We were born with no possessions. When we die, we cannot take any possessions with us. Therefore, I never see any point in in them (worldly possessions). They are not like Dhamma. Since I was a child, I meditated breathing in “Bud” breathing out “dho”. I did this every day and my mind was happy and peaceful. This type of happiness remains with us and will not disappear. I practiced every day. Especially when I met Luang Pu Dune who taught me how to observe the mind. I came to the understanding of my own mind, as well as life and the world. It felt like the world was distancing, the world where people fight over everything was just like a dream.

If the mind (that is peaceful, stable, and has gained wisdom) withdraws itself from the world, the world will still be there, but will not affect the mind. The world is still busy as it is but cannot affect the mind. The mind becomes disentangled from the world. We practice Dhamma. We see the virtues, the benefits, happiness, and peace. We understand life and the world. When we see people doing bad things, we have understanding without anger or hatred. When we see people doing good deeds, we have understanding and we wish good things for them. If some people are good, but they do not practice Dhamma, that is a shame, a waste of opportunity. Once in a very long while a buddha emerged. Each time a buddha emerged, Buddhism did not last long.


Practice until find the way to real Buddhism.

Even though Dhamma from the buddhas is the truth, people in the world do not want the truth. People prefer worldly benefits. It (the truth) is against human habits and feelings. Eras of Buddhism did not last long. In the eras of some buddhas, when the direct disciples of the buddhas entered Nibana or passed away, Buddhism faded away without further generation. Many of the eras became that way. Our Buddha possessed great wisdom and had laid out plenty of teachings and disciplines. The religion has lasted more than 2,000 years. But is Buddhism flourishing? Not really. Only the minority of people can benefit from Buddhism, not the majority.

When Buddhism came into Thailand, it faced spiritual believes. Before Buddhism was introduced, this land already had spiritual believes. Have you heard the word “Kwan” (spirit/ soul)? This has to do with spiritual believes. In Thai language there are many words about spirits. “Kwan hai (startled)”. “Kwan dee (good spirit)”. “Sia kwan (disheartened, scared)” would require spiritual ceremony to bring the spirit back to the body. People believed that way because they did not know Buddhism. When Buddhism came to Thailand, it had to blend into this society.

Like when Buddhism came to China, it had to accommodate Taoism and Confucianism. It was not pure Buddhism. In some country Buddhism had to invent bodhisattava in order compete with Hindu gods. There are many gods in Hinduism, so there are many bodhisattavas in Buddhism. This is adaptation to local context. Buddhism as the world knows it is therefore not real Buddhism. We must practice until one day we could eradicate non-Buddhism elements, we will then find the way to real Buddhism.

Therefore, we must learn to train our mind. When we understand Buddhism, there will be great happiness in our mind. Worldly happiness is a lesser happiness, with a hint of suffering. But happiness from Dhamma is beyond description, beyond comparison. It is peacefully happy, not burning happiness. Worldly happiness is happiness with the burning part. Happiness from Dhamma is peaceful, calm and is truly beneficial.

When we practice meditation, there are two kinds of practice. When the mind is tired or very distracted, we should do Samatha (calmness) meditation. There are countless ways to do Samatha meditation, but all methods come down to this: Incline the mind towards a wholesome object of its liking. The trick is to stay with an object that the mind is happy with. When the mind is happy, it will not need to look for happiness elsewhere. The mind will become peaceful and will become revitalized, stable and luminous. Then we practice further meditation.

The second type of meditation is Vipassana (insight) meditation and practice. For Vipassana (insight development) practice, we contemplate on form and formless phenomena (Rupa and Nama). Not all phenomena, just sampling some of them to study. On the level of wisdom development in Dhamma study, we do sampling, just like in research work. For example, for body contemplation: watch the body breathe out and breathe in. Just focus on one aspect of the body: breathing out and breathing in. If we could see that the body that is breathing out or breathing in, is not the representation of self, we would see collectively that the whole body is not the representation of self. This is sampling for the study. By learning about the breathing body, we will be able to know the body as a whole. This is called body contemplation in the body.


Body in the body, mind in the mind

That is, contemplating on some aspects of the body in order to understand the whole. Just like research methods, we do sampling of smaller parts. The understanding of smaller parts will lead to understanding of the whole.

Some people with breathing difficulties are not comfortable with breathing, such as Phra Ajarn Ah who has difficulty breathing for a long time. They can contemplate on other things, such as watching the body standing, walking, sitting, lying down. Or watching the body moving or not moving. Body standing, walking, sitting and sleeping can be one set. Body breathing out and breathing in can be another set. Body moving and not moving is yet another set. Each set is body contemplation in the body. If we could see that the body that is standing, walking, sitting, lying down is not the representation of self, then we would be able to see that the whole of the body is not the representation of self.

When we practice Satipatthana (mindfulness that knows phenomena), by seeing the body moving and the body not moving; if we could see that the moving body or not-moving body is not the representation of self, then we would see that the whole of the body is not the representation of self. This is body contemplation in the body. The practice of mind contemplation in the mind is of similar manner. The mind is very diverse and wonderous. There are numerous amounts of minds. There is no need to study all types of minds, no need to study as in Abhidhamma (higher teachings literature). which describes how many types of minds there are, classification by birth, which minds are wholesome and which are not, classification by levels; Karma-vajara, Rupa-vajara, Arupa-vajara. Very many classifications. There is no need to study that much.

The Buddha taught about mind contemplation in the mind. We study some aspects of the mind. If we understand those aspects, we will understand the whole of the mind. For example, supposed we are greedy type, wanting everything we see, with craving and yearning all day long. This is the greedy type. The Buddha taught about mind contemplation in the mind, that is, just watching two types of minds: greedy mind and non-greedy mind. Just these two all day long, watching greedy mind arises or non-greedy mind arises. When the mind is non-greedy, it can be angry, or can be wholesome, or can just be ignorant with no greed.

Therefore, “non-greedy” mind has a wider interpretation than “greedless” (Alopa). But when we practice cittanupassana (mind contemplation), a “non-greedy” mind can be an angry mind, or a neutral mind, or a wholesome mind. We do not need to consider further classifications as such. When we are greedy, we see the greedy mind arises. Then when greed disappears, we see that it disappears. That is all. If we could see that greedy mind is not representation of the self, that non-greedy mind Is not representation of the self, that greedy mind is impermanent, that non-greedy mind is impermanent, eventually collective understanding would arise that the whole of the mind is impermanent and is not representation of the self.

Those who get angry often or easily get irritated all day long, just contemplate on the mind. Only some types of minds, a small set. Angry mind and non-angry mind. Mind with aversion and without. When a mind has no aversion, it might be wholesome, or can have greed, or just a strayed mind. We do not need to classify further. We only need to know that now we are irritated, now we are not. Only that. If we could see that irritated or angry mind is impermanent and is not representation of the self, we would be able to know that the whole of the mind is impermanent and is not representation of the self. This is mind contemplation in the mind, only studying some types of minds as a set, no need to study hundreds of types. Only two types, greedy mind vs non-greedy mind, or angry mind vs non-angry mind, or mind that is lost (such as in thoughts) vs mind that is not lost. This is how to contemplate, quite simply.

If we keep learning, we will eventually eradicate the wrong views. Vipassana (insight development) practice aims to eradicate the wrong views that the 5 Aggregates, this body and this mind is representation of the self. As we practice, even though we could not eradicate the wrong views, we will develop Sati (mindfulness). Our mind will have concentration and become stable. Without sufficient Vipassana (insight development) practice and genuine wisdom, we will not yet be able to embark on Ariyamagga (the four Noble paths) in order to achieve Ariyapon (the Four Noble Fruits). But that is all right. Just start practicing, keep watching the body and the mind with a stable mind. In the beginning the mind is not yet impartial and stable. When the mind gets in contact with pleasing objects, it becomes content. When the mind gets in contact with unpleasant objects, it becomes discontent. Just be aware and know that the mind is content or discontent. Contentment and discontentment will extinguish with the influence of Sati (mindfulness). When we are aware and mindful, the mind will become impartial with the help of Sati (mindfulness).

Keep practicing. Sometimes the mind is impartial, other times it is partial. Be aware of both the body and the mind. Be aware with a mind that is stable and impartial, no matter what the subject of awareness is. When Sati (mindfulness) is aware of feelings such as happiness or suffering, just be aware with a mind that is stable and impartial. When Sati (mindfulness) is aware of wholesomeness or unwholesomeness, just be aware with a mind that is stable and impartial. Keep practicing until Sati (mindfulness) and wisdom are developed, then the mind will detach itself from the wrong views that the 5 Aggregates are representation of the self. By detaching from the 5 Aggregates, there will be no ground for suffering to take place, and hence no suffering for us to get hold of.


This is the wonder of Dhamma.

Dhamma is a wonderous subject. Sometimes when we listen to Dhamma teachings, we think we understand. But our understanding develops with more practice. What we thought we understood, is not true understanding. There are many kinds of these Dhamma teachings that we thought we understood. Such as the Four Noble Truths that we learned as a child in school. When I was young, there was Ethics class in elementary school that talked about the Four Noble Truths. As a child, I thought that Nibbana meant dying. So I did not want Nibbana. It was incorrectly interpreted by the Ministry of Education. Nibbana was translated as death. I did not want to die and thus did not want Nibbana.

I practiced Dhamma as I grew up, seeing the body and the mind. Then I saw that the body was the place where suffering could arise. Suffering appeared in the body. The mind was also the place where suffering could arise as suffering could appear in the mind. Therefore, suffering would take place in the body and the mind. I thought I understood the Four Noble Truths then. But the more I practiced, the more I saw that my understanding was so far off. The truth is, the body itself IS suffering. The mind itself IS suffering. The 5 Aggregates themselves ARE suffering. They are not where suffering could take place. They ARE suffering themselves.

It had taken many decades to understand many things. Many aspects of Dhamma are like this. People think they understand when they listen to Dhamma teachings. When the Buddha gave sermons to various types of people, everyone would think they understood. Dhamma from the Buddha was conveyed from his pure and virtuous mind, and entered into the minds of various types of people, some full of defilements, some with few defilements, some became Sotāpanna (stream-enterer), Sakadādgāmi (once-returner), Anāgāmi (non-returner), and some became Arahant (the awakened Holy one). Everyone listened to the Buddha´s sermon at the same time. Everyone felt that they understood. However, their understandings could be on different levels. This is the wonder of Dhamma. We think we understand.

Do you notice this when you all listen to my sermons? Some people say that my sermons are the same every time. Well, Dhamma consists mainly of Dukkha (suffering), Samudaya (the origin of suffering), Nirodha (cessation of suffering), Magga (path to cessation of suffering). My sermons would then revolve around these and nothing else. But when we listen and practice, our understanding will keep changing.

Like when we practice, we will see the mind gets in contact with unpleasant objects and becomes discontent, or the mind gets in contact with pleasant object and becomes content. In the beginning these are what we will see. Consequently, we will see that when the mind gets in contact with pleasant object, there is vibration in the middle of our chest. This vibration occurs when the mind gets in contact with both pleasant or unpleasant objects. The mind get affected all the time, and no real happiness is to be found. How c an we keep the mind from being in contact with objects? This is a very wrong way of thinking; to keep the mind away from contact with objects so it would not be affected, and thus to avoid mental fabrication. This is not correct. The mind cannot avoid contact with objects. The function of the mind is to acknowledge objects. We just keep practicing until one day we could see that the mind itself is suffering. When we see that the mind itself is suffering, then we would be able to let go of it.

Therefore, just practice after listening to Dhamma. Our understanding will become deeper, more refined and accurate. We have been misguided by the wrong views all along because Buddhism has been adulterated. In a society with influence of the spirits, Buddhism is mixed with influence of the spirits. In the same manner Buddhism is compromised in a society with Confucianism, Taoism, or Hindusm.


Principles of practice Samatha and Vipassana

Our duty is to get a grip on the principles of practice, both Samatha and Vipassana. The main principle for Samatha (calmness meditation) is: Incline the mind towards an object of its liking and remain there continuously. This must be an object that does not provoke defilements.
For Vipassana (insight development), we can contemplate on the body, or on feelings, or on the mind, or contemplate on Dhamma. The only point is to be mindful and observe the body or the mind as they truly are, with a mind that is stable and impartial. This is the crucial point. Before I could sum up these principles, I have conducted numerous trials and errors until I can conclude this with full confidence. I am not afraid of any objections. For Samatha (calmness meditation), the principle applies regardless of methods for Samatha.

Whichever method we use for Vipassana (insight development) practice, it would be based on the principles that I mentioned. The principle for Vipassana is to be mindful. What does Sati (mindfulness) do? The function of Sati (mindfulness) is to be aware. To be aware of what? To be aware of the body and the mind, which are Rupa and Nama (form and formless). Can Sati (mindfulness) be aware of other things? Yes. All wholesomeness objects always comprise of Sati but just normal Sati, not the right type. But the type of Sati that is aware of the body and the mind, is Satipatthana (mindfulness that knows phenomena). Samma-sati (right mindfulness), that is. There are two types of Sati; Miccha-sati (wrong mindfulness) and Samma-sati (right mindfulness). Those who study Abhidhamma (higher teachings literature) insist that there is no Miccha-sati, that all mindfulness is Samma-sati. In the Buddhist scriptures (Tripitaka) there is Miccha-sati, so do not take that away. Is Miccha-sati evil? No, it is not evil. The mind that has Miccha-sati can be wholesome or unwholesome. It can be with wholesomeness but without wisdom. Wisdom cannot be cultivated with Miccha-sati.

Like when we see monks collecting alms, we are filled with faithful joy. We get thrilled upon seeing senior monks collecting alms in the village in the morning. This is the mind with Sati (mindfulness) and wholesomeness. But it will not lead the way towards enlightenment. The type of Sati that can help us towards enlightenment is Satipatthana (mindfulness that knows phenomena), Sati that is aware of the body and the mind.
Thus the Buddha explained Samma-sati with Satipatthana (mindfulness that knows phenomena). We must then be mindful. Mindful of what? Mindful of the body and the mind. How to be mindful? Be mindful with the mind that is stable and impartial. If we contemplate on the body, but the mind sinks down into the body, then wisdom cannot occur. It is overfocusing on the body. It becomes Samatha (calmness concentration). When Sati knows that the mind is not stable, and the mind sinks into overfocusing, it becomes Samatha also. Wisdom cannot occur. The mind must detach itself (from the object) and become the seer or the knower. When Sati is aware of the body, and the mind become stable, that is Samma-sati. Then we can see the body and the mind as separate entities. Consequently, we would see further when we are aware of the body, or the mind, or any other objects, we become pleased or displeased.

Just when we can separate the body and the mind as different entities, we become pleased with that state. When we are pleased, we try to keep the body and the mind apart. This is wrong. This is partial. We like one thing and dislike another; wanting the mind and the body to be separated, discontent when the mind and the body join. This is not according to the principle of Vipassana. It becomes overfocusing on the body. Or if we practice on the mind, it becomes overfocusing on the mind, wanting the mind to be peaceful, happy, and good all the time. This is not correct. It is partial. We are pleased with the mind that is happy and peaceful, and displeased with the mind that is restless, uncomfortable and in distress. When we are pleased with one condition and displeased with another, the mind is partial. If the mind is partial, real wisdom cannot be induced. Defilements cannot truly be discarded.

Therefore, I conclude the following: Be mindful. What does Sati (mindfulness) do? Sati is to be aware. Aware of what? Aware of the body and the mind. How so? Be aware of the body and the mind as they truly are. What is the body as it is? The true nature of the body is according to the Three Characteristics. What is the mind as it is? Also according to the Three Characteristics: impermanent (anicca), does not persist (dukkha), beyond control (anatta). Only with the mind that is stable and impartial that we can see the body and the mind showing the Three Characteristics. If the mind is not stable, it will sink into overfocusing on the body or the mind. Wisdom cannot occur. Only peace will occur, and it becomes Samatha. And if the mind is partial, the mind will not be just the knower. The mind will then struggle for further fabrication. For example, when anger arises and the mind is partial, the mind will try to get rid of the anger. You see, the mind gets into further fabrication. It brings forth Sankara (formations).

Sankara (formations) is Bhava (becoming). The Bhava which attempts to rid of defilements is good Bhava. Upon death, that mind will be reborn as good human being, or angel, or brahma. Would that mind enter Nibbana? No, it would not enter Nibbana. It cannot let go and will firmly cling on to the body and the mind. That is why we need to understand the principles correctly. When we practice for peace, do not intend for peace. We should incline the mind towards an object of its liking and remain there continuously. Do not be bothered whether we acquire peace or not.

Earlier I practiced Anapanasati (breathing meditation). In the beginning I practiced by the book as it was normally conducted, breathing in deeply to the abdomen, then breathing out. I kept being aware of breathing. When the mind calmed down, breathing became more and more shallow until it was felt only at the tip of the nose. When I became more proficient, breathing remained only at the tip of the nose either with long or short breath. No need to follow it up or down which required more mental activities. Mental activity was reduced until the mind stopped working. Stopped. Only awareness remained. The mind then got to rest and became at ease.

Just practice, Incline the mind towards an object of its liking, and remain there continuously. The object (of meditation) that. I am happy with is breathing meditation combined with reciting Buddho. It brings forth happiness, then the mind becomes peaceful. If we practice on the method that is not compatible with oneself and we are not happy, the mind will never be peaceful. I used to contemplate on the body also. I contemplated on the hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons and bones until the hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh and tendons vanished. Only bones remained. In this body there was one bone which was left collarbone that caused pain when I contemplated on. The mind was able to contemplate on other bones with ease.

I asked Luangpor Puth. He said that this was normal, that the mind did not like it. Just contemplate on something else. He himself had one rib bone that would cause pain when he contemplated on, so he would not contemplate on it. But when the mind entered concentration, the whole body disintegrated and disappeared, including the very bone that he did not like, all disappeared. So if we observe and it causes pain, do not continue to observe it. It will not bring forth happiness and the mind will not calm down. We must contemplate on what makes us happy, then the mind will calm down.

Do you understand the principles? When we want peace, incline the mind towards an object of its liking, and remain there continuously. Incline, not overfocus. If we overfocus, it (the mind) will be uncomfortable and unhappy. Just incline the mind to feel it. Incline the mind towards an object. If we want to practice Vipassana, be mindful and observe the body and the mind as they truly are, that is, observe with a mind that is stable and impartial. “Stable and impartial” is important. The main point is to be mindful and observe the body and the mind as they truly are. I find that in order to be able to observe the body and the mind as they truly are, the mind has to be stable and impartial. Correct concentration (samma-samadhi) is needed. Correct concentration is the proximate cause for wisdom. Without correct concentration, there can be no genuine wisdom. There may be Cintamaya-panna that derives from thinking. Therefore, if one wishes to acquire wisdom that leads to liberation from suffering, one needs to train so that the mind becomes stable and impartial.

Do you notice that my teachings are mostly about concentration (samadhi)? That is because most of us do not possess the mind that is stable and impartial. Most of us do not have a stable mind, nor an impartial mind. That is why I keep teaching you over and over. Just notice when the mind strays elsewhere and not stable, or when the mind is partial, pleased and displeased with one thing or another.


Stable and impartial minds, should pursue to develop wisdom.

Take note that what I talk about nowadays is mostly about concentration. Those who already have stable and impartial minds, should pursue to develop wisdom. If the mind is stable and we stay idle, that is foolish. It is as if we have charged battery to full, then let it run out. Or putting water in the freezer, once it becomes ice, we leave it out to melt. This is foolish. If we do not put the mind to use when it is stable and impartial, it is foolish.

This morning I met a former monk that came to report about his practice. This man has a stable mind with fortitude, but the mind remains idle and would not develop of wisdom. Just like making ice and let it melt. When the mind is stable, as Sati (mindfulness) observes the body and would stay still, give a little help. Beam our focus onto the body. This body is an object of observation. This body is not us and not ours. Give a little help (to the mind). If the mind is stable, yet idle, give a little help as Sati observes the mind. This mind is impermanent. A moment ago, it was just being aware, now it comes out and see the Three Characteristics.

Just a moment ago, the mind was good, stable and wholesome, but this wholesomeness is without wisdom. We then beam our focus onto our mind. Yes, it is impermanent. It was idle a while ago, now it comes out to see the Three Characteristics. Observe all feelings and thoughts that occur in the mind. They are impermanent. They occur and disappear of their own causes, not by our commands. Give a little help and observe. Beam the focus on the Three Characteristics of the body, and of the mind. If the mind is stable but idle, we help by beaming the focus. But if the mind is stable, active and observant (on the Three Characteristics), there is no need to beam the focus or overthink. That would cause the mind to be unnecessary distracted.

So just practice and hold on to the principles that I mentioned. These principles can be applied to any meditation methods. Whichever methods, we would understand clearly. Once we know how to practice, when we hear anyone teaching Dhamma, we would know right away which level of Dhamma understanding and level of the mind they belong to. We would be able to see. This person keeps the mind still, idle, peaceful and empty, we know that he still gets stuck in Samatha (calmness meditation). His teaching would be to keep the mind empty. When thoughts arise, get rid of them. Do not think, be idle and keep the mind empty. This is a form of fabrication called Anechapi Sankara (steady or neutral formations). The root of Anechapi Sankara is Avija (ignorance). Avija is the root of all forms of fabrications.

Hold on to the principles, do not keep the mind idle. If the mind is restless, practice Samatha (calmness meditation) to calm down the mind. Then when we develop wisdom, do not keep the mind idle all the time. If the mind is idle, let Sati (mindfulness) observe the body and beam the focus on the body in relation to the Three Characteristics. If the mind remains idle, let Sati observe the mind and beam the focus on feelings that occur in the mind in relation to the Three Characteristics. The mind will eventually see the Three Characteristics by itself. When Sati observes the body and sees the Three Characteristics by itself, we do not need to beam the focus on it. No need to intend. It works on its own. When Sati observes the mind, it could see by itself that the minds is characterized by the Three Characteristics (impermanent, does not persist, and beyond control).

We need to train. In the beginning if the mind remains idle, help is needed to activate the mind. But if the mind can observe the Three Characteristics by itself, there is no need for help. Helping in this circumstance would be fabrication of good intention called Punyaphi Sankhara. It derives from Avija which is the root. All fabrications share the same root, which is Avija. Fabrication of the good is because of Avija. Fabrication of the bad is because of Avija. Trying not to fabricate is because of Avija.

Do you understand the principles now? What is the principle for Samatha? Can anyone answer? The principle for Samatha is to Incline the mind towards an object that the mind is happy with and remain there continuously. Peaceful or not peaceful, that does not matter. We merely incline our mind towards an object that the mind is happy with. But if we overfocus, not just inclining the mind towards the object, the mind will not be happy. It will be stressed. Sometimes when one overfocuses on the body, he/ she can get neckache. There is no happiness there. If there is no happiness, concentration will not occur. Because happiness is the proximate cause for concentration.

Practice gradually. If we want to practice Samatha, the mind will get rest and gain strength and fortitude. Just notice what object of meditation makes us happy and be with that object. Peaceful or not peaceful is not the main point. Just stay with the object, let the mind mingle with that object, soon the mind will be calm and stable, and gain strength. Just practice. Or when we want to practice Vipassana in order to learn the truth that leads to detachment, there are just a few principles: be mindful and observe the body or the mind as they truly are (with a mind that is stable and impartial.) This principle applies to all methods of Vipassana.


Luangpu Pramote Pamojjo
Wat Suansantidham
8 October 2023